A person holds a basket of vegetables while copy over them reads, "Our eyes are vascular, meaning that it is important to have a heart-healthy diet to keep the blood vessels that service our eyes healthy."

The Worst Foods for Your Eye Health

You know the saying, “You are what you eat”? The food you eat plays a huge part in your health.

Our eyes are vascular, meaning that it is important to have a heart-healthy diet to keep the blood vessels that service our eyes healthy. Tiny capillaries provide your retina with nutrients and oxygen; because these vessels are so small, fatty deposits can easily cause blocked veins.

We’ve shared with you the foods that will boost your eye health. Now, our expert team of doctors have compiled a list of the foods that are harmful to the health of your eyes.

Condiments, Toppings, and Dressings

The toppings that you likely store in your refrigerator door like mayonnaise, salad dressing, or jelly, are all high in fat.

Rather than using these options for flavor on your next sandwich, burger, or salad, try using natural flavors like green vegetables or toppings that are packed with vitamin C, like a squeeze of fresh lemon. Get great flavor with natural foods without sacrificing your nutritional benefits!

White or Plain Colored Foods

Think about the white foods that you eat: pasta, white bread, rice, and flour tortillas. These foods offer almost no nutritional benefit, just simple carbohydrates that give a rush of energy that are followed by a crash.

If you are eating these foods, be sure to add greens and foods that rich with omega-3 to the meal to provide yourself with nutritional benefits. Or, swap them for healthier alternatives that use whole grains.

Fatty Meats

Red meats and sausages are often convenient to purchase, especially when you are buying from the deli. Lunch meats can seem healthy but are mostly full of chemical preservatives, salt, fat, and cholesterol.

Instead of consuming fatty meats, try adding in lean meats like fresh turkey, which is full of zinc and protein. Salmon is good alternative as well, as it is an omega-3 rich food.

Margarine

Margarine is often marketed as a healthy alternative to butter, but is full of trans fats that can adversely affect your cholesterol.

Instead, try using coconut, avocado, or olive oil as an alternative to both margarine and butter to avoid trans fats.

Unsaturated Fats

Junk foods are delicious but can cause serious issues down the line for your health if you consume too many. Rather than eating French fries, cookies, or potato chips, which are all full of unsaturated fats, swap them out for healthy saturated fats.

Lean meats, fish, fresh fruits and veggies, and low-fat or non-dairy products are the best way to receive healthy fats.

 

We want to help you eat healthy so that your vision remains clear and focused. Do you have questions about how to eat healthy for your eyes? We would love to see you! Stop in or schedule your appointment today.

 

A blue eye looks forward while text reads, "Eyes are unique to every individual person, almost like a fingerprint."

The Science Behind Eye Color

Eyes are unique to every individual person, almost like a fingerprint. But, have you ever found yourself wondering, for example, why your eyes are brown and your sister’s eyes are blue? Shouldn’t you have the same eye color if you are related? The science behind eye color is a little more complicated than what you may have learned in your high school biology class.

Basic Biology Breakdown

In high school biology you probably covered genetics and dominant and recessive genes. In order to fully understand this, you likely did an activity where you traced your eye color back to your parent’s. However, understanding how dominant and recessive genes play into eye color is just scraping the surface of the science behind your eyes.

Melanin and Genetics

Different eye color is caused by the melanin in your iris. The iris is a flat, colored, ring shape behind the cornea of the eye. Less melanin in the iris means lighter eye colors, like blue and green, and more melanin in the iris makes for darker eye colors, like hazel and brown. Melanin isn’t the only factor in determining eye color.

Like you learned in high school, genes do play a role, but it isn’t just the one gene you were taught. The gene OCA2 determines how much melanin you will have in the iris, because it produces protein. Less protein means blue or green eyes. The gene HERC2 limits the OCA2 gene. So, the more that HERC2 limits the OCA2 gene, means less melanin in the iris.

Melanocyte Activity

Melanocyte is the mature, melanin-forming cell. The activity level of melanocyte in babies can contribute to a change in eye color up until their 1st birthday. If melanocytes secrete only a small amount, a baby will have blue eyes. If melanocytes are very active, a baby will have brown eyes.

Did you know that most American Caucasian babies begin their life with blue eyes, but only 1 in 6 adults retain the blue eye color?

Anomalies

Sometimes, eye color is determined by anomalies in melanin and genetics. Heterochromia Iridium is a condition where each eye is a different color. Heterochromia Iridium occurs when there are anomalies in the iris. Only 6 in 1,000 have this condition.

Most people know that David Bowie has 2 different eye colors, so you may think that he has Heterochromia. Bowie’s condition, however, comes from eye damage from a fight as a teen over a girl, which led to a permanently dilated pupil, which is known as anisocoria. Max Scherzer, former Detroit Tigers pitcher, currently with the Washington Nationals, does, however, have Heterochromia.

 

At Rx Optical, we understand your eyes and the intricate science behind them. We would love to see you and learn more about your eye color and your eye health. Schedule your appointment with us online today.

A snowy forest with the text, "Michigan has been our home since 1947 and we are deeply proud of our state."

Our Favorite Winter Sights in Michigan

Michigan has been our home since 1947 and we are deeply proud of our state. While we will admit that Michigan winters can be tough sometimes, we also know they can be stunningly beautiful. There’s just something about the way the snow glistens on the bare tree branches when the light hits just right, and just like that, Michigan turns into a winter wonderland.

When the snow falls, our team has a few favorite places that we like to explore each year, and we want to share them with you. Check out our list of favorite winter sights in Michigan:

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Munising

A trip to the Upper Peninsula is always beautiful, no matter the season, but in the winter it is transformed into a breathtaking, frozen tundra. You can ski, hike, and even climb frozen ice waterfalls. The frozen lake is captivating to look at and is truly embodies “Pure Michigan.” Remember, if you’re headed way up north, be sure to pack extra layers!

Sleeping Bear Point and Shalda Creek – Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Don’t want to venture all the way to the Upper Peninsula but still want to feel like you’re “up north”? Check out the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. We love to wander through the snow-covered dunes and enjoy the views from what feels like the top of the world. And, if you are able to make it just after a large gust of wind hits the dunes, the layers of the sand change and create beautiful textures.

While you’re at the Sleeping Dunes National Lakeshore, make sure you make a stop at Shalda Creek. This creek is small and can be hard to miss as it heads into Good Harbor Bay, but it’s beauty is unparalleled. Make sure you wear warm winter hiking boots and snow pants, or waders, as the ice may be thin!

Rosa Parks Circle – Grand Rapids

Would you rather escape to the city? On the west side of Michigan, Grand Rapids’ Rosa Parks Circle is at the center of the city’s hustle and bustle. The city ices over the park and creates an outdoor ice rink for everyone to enjoy. If you go at night, you will be surrounded by decorated trees and the twinkling lights of the city. The Circle is also close to many restaurants, nightlife, and great museums that both kids and parents will enjoy.

Campus Martius Park – Detroit

On the east side of Michigan, Detroit transforms their downtown park into a winter wonderland and ice rink. With fun activities from skating to broomball, there is always something fun happening at Campus Martius. Campus Martius is at the center of amazing restaurant selection, sparkling lights, and entertainment. Your eyes will never tire from taking in all the sights in downtown Detroit.

We love our Michigan roots and can’t get enough of exploring our great state. Do you have a favorite winter spot in Michigan? Be sure to share it with us!

Also, schedule an appointment today so you can be sure you are seeing clearly when you visit these great winter spots. You won’t want to miss a single detail!

A green ribbon with the words, "Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and it affects more than 2.7 million Americans every year."

4 Symptoms & Signs of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the two main types are primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and angle-closure glaucoma. These are caused by an increase in pressure inside the eye, which leads to optic nerve damage. The optic nerve is responsible for carrying images from the eye to the brain, and if it is damaged, vision will be impaired or permanently lost.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States and it affects more than 2.7 million Americans every year. Glaucoma is known as the “silent thief of vision” because there are virtually no early warning signs to indicate glaucoma. The best way to detect glaucoma early on is through a comprehensive eye exam.

While there are no early warning signs, there are several symptoms, for the two main types of glaucoma, to be aware of:

Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) Symptoms

Blind Spots

Frequent patchy blind spots in your peripheral, or main line of sight, in both of your eyes can be an indication of glaucoma.

Tunnel Vision

In advance stages of POAG, tunnel vision will occur. Tunnel vision is when objects being viewed cannot be properly seen if they are not close to the center of the field of view.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma Symptoms

Halos

Halos around lights are an indicator of glaucoma. Halos are bright circles that surround a light source when you are viewing it, and that will ultimately interfere with your overall vision.

Eye Pain

Glaucoma can cause eye pain to occur on the surface of the eye or within a deeper structure of the eye. Eye pain should not be taken lightly, and if it persists, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Along with the above symptoms, severe headaches and blurred vision are also possible indicators of glaucoma. If you experience any these symptoms it is extremely important to visit an eye doctor as soon as possible. For those over 40 who are not yet experiencing any of these symptoms, it is still important to have annual comprehensive eye exams in order to detect eye diseases in their early stages and protect your vision.

 

At Rx Optical, we have a deep understanding of the key indicators and risk factors associated with glaucoma and other vision-stealing eye diseases. Our expert team of doctors are here to help you protect your vision and are committed to helping you see clearer, longer. Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online.

An instrument used to test eye sight with the phrase, "At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you see clearly. Don't ignore the signs!" superimposed over it

5 Signs You Need to Get Your Eyes Checked

Are you straining to see at night or when working on a computer or your phone? Does your head hurt after being in front of a screen or reading fine print?

These issues are not something you should live with; in fact, they are all signs of vision problem. Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it should be, especially if you are experiencing vision issues and/or optical discomfort.

These 5 signs are the most common indicators that your eyes need to be checked through a comprehensive eye exam.

Night Sight

Are you noticing you can see fine in normal lighting but as soon as the lighting dims or you are in darkness, you have issues seeing? Do you are having trouble driving at night and reading signs at night? Or, do you are feel uncomfortable driving at night?

These are indications that you should have your eyes checked. With these symptoms, you could be experiencing night blindness. Night blindness is very common especially in older adults and is the first symptom of a cataract.

It’s All a Blur

If you are experiencing sudden blurry or unfocused vision, it could be a sign of a bigger health issue. If you start to notice that text in books is becoming fuzzy when read up close it could be an indicator of farsightedness or astigmatism. In aging patients, this can also be a sign of presbyopia.

Screen-time Strain

Computer and phone screens can cause serious strain on the eyes and can create computer vision syndrome (CVS). Common symptoms of CVS are eyestrain, headache, difficulty focusing, itchy or burning eyes, dry eyes, blurred or double vision, and light sensitivity.

If believe you are experiencing CVS, you should schedule an eye exam to discuss the strain you are putting on your eyes. In the meantime, follow the 20-20-20 rule, position your screen and documents accordingly, reduce lighting and glare, remember to blink, and use BluTech Lenses. 

Frequent Headaches

Headaches can be common; however, reoccurring headaches can be an early warning of a change in vision. When the cornea and lens fail to focus, the small muscles in the eyes are forced to work harder, which causes eye strain and can result in headaches. Sometimes staring at a computer screen for too long or working in either dim or overly bright light may be the reason why.

If you are struggling with frequent headaches, set up an eye exam as soon as possible. If you work in front of a screen often or in a dimly light room, take breaks every hour to allow your eyes to rest. If this symptom goes untreated, astigmatism, near, or farsightedness could occur.

Flashes, Floaters, Obstructed Vision – Oh My!

If you see floaters or flashes of light in your vision, this could indicate a serious eye disorder like a hole, detachment, or retinal tear.

Small specks that move in your vision field are called floaters; they are deceiving because they often look like they are part of what you are looking at outside of your eye but they are floating inside your eye.

An eye exam evaluates your vision and is extremely thorough. A comprehensive eye exam can closely resemble a physical when you consider what an eye exam can detect. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to schedule an eye exam as soon as possible to eliminate a serious eye disorder.

 

At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you see clearly. Don’t ignore the signs! Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online.

Rx Optical Blog Image What is Glaucoma 12.27.18

What is Glaucoma?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and while many people have heard of glaucoma, most don’t fully understand the seriousness of the condition, or realize that it is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States for those over 60.

Glaucoma is quite common in the United States, so understanding how to detect the condition in its early stages is key for preventing vision loss.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition that causes damage to the eye’s optic nerve and that gets worse over time. The condition is often caused by a buildup of pressure in the eye, referred to as intraocular pressure. The optic nerve is vital for clear vision, as it is responsible for transmitting images to the brain, meaning if the damage continues, glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. If left totally untreated, permanent blindness is possible within a couple years.

Symptoms

Glaucoma does not present any symptoms in the early stages, and the first sign is often a loss of peripheral, or side, vision. This loss in vision, due to increasing damage to the optic nerve, can go unnoticed for some time, which is why glaucoma is often referred to as the “sneak thief of vision.”

While less common, rapid onset glaucoma, caused by a sudden increase in pressure, has more noticeable symptoms, like blurred vision, severe eye pain, headache, rainbow-colored halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. This is an emergency, and if not treated immediately, could result in permanent blindness. 

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can develop glaucoma; however, it is more common in those who:

  • Are over the age of 40
  • Are of African-American, Irish, Russian, Japanese, Hispanic, Inuit or Scandinavian decent
  • Have a family history of glaucoma (if you have an immediate family member who has glaucoma, your risk in developing the condition increases four to nine times)
  • Have diabetes
  • Take certain steroid medications
  • Had recent trauma to the eye or eyes

Glaucoma is detected through comprehensive eye exams, so the importance of regular eye exams cannot be overlooked when it comes to protecting vision.

Living with Glaucoma

While there is no cure for glaucoma, if you have been diagnosed with the condition, there are available treatments to control the disease and prevent further vision loss. Treatments include medicines, in the form of eye drops or pills, laser trabeculoplasty, or conventional surgery. Having ongoing conversations with your eye doctor about treatment, and keeping up with regular comprehensive eye exams, is the best course of action.

With the new year comes new resolutions. This year, be sure to set aside time for annual comprehensive eye exams for you and your family members. Eye exams can detect a variety of different diseases in their early stages, including glaucoma.

At Rx Optical, we are dedicated to helping you enjoy life and see clearly. Stop in, give us a call, or schedule your appointment online. We can’t wait to see you!

Rx Optical Blog Image Gifts for Glasses Wearers 12.10.18

4 Best Gifts for People with Glasses

The holidays are just around the corner and if you’re shopping for the glasses-wearing friend in your life, you’re in luck! Our team has compiled the best list of gifts for those with glasses. And if you wear glasses, don’t be surprised if you add a few of these on your wish list.

Lens Cleaning Kit

A lens cleaning kit is a great gift for those who wear glasses. Not only do clean glasses offer a better view, they actually prevent reflections that can occur and deter vision when wearing glasses while driving or playing in the snow.

We carry an effective kit at all of our locations. The RxOptical PHD-50 Lens Cleaning Kit, which is included with our Worry FreeWarranty, contains a 6-ounce cleaner spray bottle, 30 pre-moistened lens cloths, and a microfiber cloth. Our cleaning solution is safe for all lenses and coatings, and was developed to work fast. The kit is available for $12.95 when purchased separately from our Worry Free Warranty. Stop into one of our 54 locations to pick a kit up for your glasses-wearing friend today!

Winter Sunglasses

Everyone layers on jackets, scarves, and hats during the winter season, but most are forgetting a crucial part of their wardrobe: sunglasses. Just because the sun is not beaming high in the sky does not mean that you are free from harmful UV rays.

The glasses wearer in your life will no doubt love a stylish pair of prescription sunglasses that will protect from UV rays, snow and ice glare, and harsh winter winds. Rx Optical carries a wide variety of sunglasses at all locations that you can choose from this holiday season.

Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Microfiber cleaning clothes are a great stocking stuffer for glasses and sunglass wearers alike. Blended microfibers have the ability to pick up and lock dirt, dust, moisture, and bacteria thanks to their tiny asterisk shape. Microfiber is also positively charged which means it attracts dirt like a magnet.

Microfiber cleaning cloths are inexpensive, easy to find, and serve a variety of uses beyond glasses-wearers too.

Rx Optical Gift Card

Rx Optical Holiday Gift Card Promo Social Image

If all else fails and you are running out of time to order online or make stops at lot of stores, pop into one of our offices and grab a gift card. Investing in a loved one’s eyesight will go beyond just providing clear vision, but also show that you care about their health and wellness. RxOptical gift cards can be used toward an eye examination and any eyewear purchase.

Give a gift that they will not only appreciate but use daily. These gifts are sure to bring a smile to any glasses-wearing friend or family member, and will be put to good use. Have any questions about our gift giving guide? Give us a call! Or, stop in and ask us to help you shop, our opticians are talented and ready to help you find the perfect gift.

Rx Optical Blog Image Dry Eyes in Winter 11.28.18

5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes in the Winter

Winter is coming! In addition to Michigan winters being rough on our cars and our roads, the cold air outside combined with dry indoor heat can be a perfect recipe for dry eyes and discomfort. Thanks to the climate here in the northern Midwest, one of the most common patient complaints during the winter months is dry eyes.

Harsh winter weather can reduce the moisture in your eyes, causing irritation. This eye irritation can create a burning or itching sensation, and most of the time, people will try to relieve this by rubbing their eyes, which will actually make things worse.

Here are five easy tips you can incorporate into your winter routine to help alleviate dry eyes: 

Drink Water

Drinking plenty of water not only helps keep your body hydrated and healthy, but it also helps maintain moisture levels in your eyes. Did you know that the average adult should drink about half a gallon of water each day? If you’re experiencing dry eyes, be sure to examine your water intake, as you may need to increase the amount of water you are drinking.

Keep Your Distance from Heat

While the warmth from a fireplace or a vent is nice and cozy during the colder months, the heat blowing onto your face will inevitably dry out your eyes. If you want to keep your eyes moisturized, don’t sit directly in front of the fireplace, a space heater, or a heat vent.

Give Your Contacts a Break

Do you wear contacts every single day? Are you remembering to give your eyes a break from contacts once in a while? Contacts create a barrier that prevent oxygen from getting to your eyes, which can eventually dry out your eyes.

If you’re suffering from dry eyes, take out your contacts for a few days to alleviate irritation and stick with your glasses. You should also consider talking to your optometrist about switching to contacts that are better suited for those with dry eye symptoms.

Wear Sunglasses

The sun doesn’t set with summer, so you should always remember to wear sunglasses in the winter. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and will help block out any harsh winds that could dry out your eyes.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

One of the worst things that you can do to your irritated and dry eyes is rub them. We know it is tempting, and can feel like an easy solution, but it will only worsen the irritation and can even lead to infections if your hands aren’t clean.

 

At Rx Optical, we want to help you have fun and enjoy the winter months in Michigan. If your dry eyes are keeping you from your favorite winter activities, stop in for a comprehensive eye exam so that you can get back in the snow without dry or irritated eyes.

Rx Optical Blog Image Protecting Your Vision as You Age 11.26.18

5 Tips for Protecting Your Vision as You Age

As you age, you may notice your eyesight getting weaker.

You avoid dimly lit restaurants and the font is as large as it can be on your phone. That’s because your eyes start to struggle with seeing close distances in your mid-40s, especially when you’re on your phone or reading a book or menu.

This is a normal change in the eye’s ability to focus, and is called presbyopia. Presbyopia is among the most common eye problems in adults aged 41-60.

So, what should you do to keep your eyes and vision protected as you age? Here are 5 tips from our expert team:

Wear Sunglasses

While we all know that looking directly at the sun isn’t safe, being outside without sunglasses is also harmful. UV rays take no days off, so always bring sunglasses with you. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from UV rays, even on cloudy or snowy days.

At Rx, we offer prescription sunglasses so that you never have to be without clear vision while protecting your eyes from damaging sunlight.

Wear Prescription Glasses

Are you noticing your vision is strained when reading up close or using your phone? Updating your prescription in your glasses can help alleviate the strain in your vision.

If you don’t wear prescription glasses already, scheduling an appointment with Rx is a great first step in determining if you need to wear glasses.

Boost Your Diet

Simply changing a few areas of your diet can help to keep your vision sharp. Including foods like eggs, legumes, citrus fruits, leafy greens, and fish in your diet can help to protect your eyes and vision. This is because they contain healthy elements like zinc, omega-3, and vitamins C and A.

Interested in learning more? Check out our blog on the “Top 5 Foods to Boost Eye Health”.

Stay Active

An active lifestyle is good for the entire body, and that includes your eyes. Exercising regularly can help to reduce your risk of developing problems that can end up leading to eye disease.

Want to protect your eyes as you exercise? Ask your Rx optician about prescription sports frames.

Comprehensive Eye Exam

Scheduling a comprehensive eye exam is the best thing you can do to identify what is causing your eyes to strain. Our experienced doctors will be able to develop a vision plan for you and get your vision set up for success.

 

At Rx, we employ an expert team of doctors who are committed to helping protect your eye health. Schedule an exam with us today and take the first step in protecting your eyes from aging.

Rx Optical Blog Image Diabetes and Eye Health 11.09.18

Diabetes and Your Eye Health

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, and according to the CDC, there are more than 100 million U.S. adults living with diabetes or prediabetes. The serious disease, which affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin, can cause health issues such as heart disease, kidney failure, amputations, and vision loss.

Diabetes is a major risk factor for developing glaucoma and cataracts, but the most common and threatening vision problem facing diabetics is diabetic retinopathy.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy, which is a leading cause of blindness in American adults, is caused by damage or changes in the blood vessels of the retina due to high blood sugar levels. In certain cases, retinal blood vessels can swell and leak fluid, while others may experience abnormal and new blood vessels growing on the surface of the retina. These changes in the eye can result in vision loss or blindness.

According to the National Eye Institute, nearly 7.7 million people age 40 and older have diabetic retinopathy, and this number is projected to increase to more than 11 million by 2030.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy can be very difficult to detect yourself, as there are no symptoms in the early stages. As the disease progresses, you may begin to notice the following symptoms:

  • Increasing number of floaters
  • Blurry vision
  • Blank or dark areas in your vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors appearing faded or washed out

The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy typically affect both eyes.

Prevention & Treatment

While fully preventing diabetic retinopathy is difficult, you can greatly reduce your risks by controlling your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes and experience any of the above symptoms, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible. Catching and treating the disease in its early stages, before it causes vision loss or blindness, is key for protecting your eye health.

It is crucial that all people with diabetes get a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once every year. Dilated exams allow for eye doctors to see more of the inside of your eyes in order to check for signs of the disease.

Our expert team of doctors at Rx Optical is committed to helping protect your eye health. Schedule an exam with us today and take the first step in ensuring that your vision stays clearer, longer.

Rx Optical Blog Image Top 5 Foods to Boost Eye Health 10.29.18

5 Top Foods to Boost Eye Health

Your diet has a large impact on your overall health, including your vision. In addition to drinking enough water, maintaining a balanced diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, and low in sugar and saturated fats, is one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your eyes.

Most people have heard that carrots and other orange-colored fruits and vegetables promote eye health, but you should also consider adding these five foods to your regular diet in order to keep your eyes healthy and your vision sharp:

Fish

Adding fish to your diet will help protect and improve your vision. Your retinas need two types of omega-3 fatty acids in order to work correctly: DHA and EPA. Both of which can be found in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and trout. Additionally, omega-3s will help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye and glaucoma.

Don’t like seafood? Try taking a fish oil supplements to get a boost of omega-3s in your system.

Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens, like spinach, kale and collards, are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin and are a great source of vitamin C and beta carotene. These antioxidants will act like a natural sunscreen for your eyes and protect from harmful UV rays.

If you aren’t a fan of leafy greens, try peas or avocado.

Eggs

Egg yolks are another prime source for lutein and zeaxanthin, which will reduce the risk of age-related sight loss. Eggs are also a great source of eye-friendly vitamins E and C, and zinc. Opting for an egg breakfast a couple times a week will help boost your eye health.\

Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C is a key defender against cataracts and macular degeneration. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and berries. If you’re not into fruits and are looking for a daily dose of vitamin C, try a simple vitamin C supplement that you can find at most grocery or drug stores.

Legumes

Kidney beans, black beans, and lentils are good sources of bioflavonoids and zinc. These two can help protect the retina and lower the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Zinc also helps to protect the eyes from damage from light.

Remember, including Vitamin C, A, zinc, and omega-3 rich foods into your diet will help protect your eyes and allow you to have clearer vision, longer.

Interested in learning more about the foods you should add to your diet in order to boost your eye health? Schedule an exam with one of our doctors to discuss the steps you can take in order to achieve healthier eyes.

Rx Optical Blog Halloween Eye Safety 10.19.18

Get Spooky: Halloween Costumes and Eye Safety

Fun costumes are one of the best ways to celebrate Halloween. Depending on the costume, sometimes it takes a bit of makeup and even crazy eyewear in order to fully pull off the look you’re going for. When you’re swept up in the excitement of dressing up, it is easy to forget about eye safety and the potential risks your costume may be creating.

Our treat to you this Halloween season is informing you of certain costume accessories that could cause you harm and potentially ruin your Halloween celebrations.

Cosmetic Contact Lenses

October is Contact Lens Safety Awareness Month, and, coincidently, a popular trend for enhancing Halloween costumes is cosmetic contact lenses. Cosmetic lenses can make quite a fashion statement, but when bought without a prescription at boutiques, tattoo parlors, and other nonprofessional retailers, they pose serious health risks.

All contact lenses, including prescription or cosmetic, are classified as medical devices and it is illegal for anyone to sell contact lenses without a prescription, because of the medical and health risks that this creates. Non-prescription costume contacts can cut, scratch, and infect your eye if they are not properly fitted. From this mis-sizing, corneal abrasions and bacterial infections are the most common injuries that occur. Unfortunately, treatment for these injuries can require surgery and sometimes the treatment does not work.

Why are costume lenses unsafe? The lenses are developed in a way that does not allow enough oxygen get through to the eye due to the paints and pigments used to create the colors in the cosmetic lens. There are about 13,000 emergency room cases each year due to the use of non-prescription cosmetic lenses.

How do you get safe, colored contact lenses? The only way to safely wear contact lenses is with a prescription. Our Optometrists would be happy to determine your prescription and contact fit at an eye exam. If cosmetic lenses will complete your Halloween costume, be sure to go the safe route and schedule an eye exam.

Costume Makeup, Paint, and Glitter

Makeup, paint, and glitter are quite common when it comes to Halloween costume essentials, but these also all pose a risk. It is important that when using costume makeup, paint, or glitter, you test a small area before placing the makeup on the entire face. It is especially important with costume makeup to keep it away from the eyes and eye area so that they eyes are protected from any irritation or stinging and burning.

After the costume comes off, don’t forget to take off your makeup, too. No matter how tired you are, the irritation from costume makeup can cause infection if left on for too long, so don’t go to sleep without washing your face. Be sure to look for swelling, rashes, and irritation on the face or around the eyes the day after the makeup is applied.

Masks and Accessories

Watch out for any costume items that could penetrate or scratch the eye. Think plastic masks that could break into the eye or tripping while carrying a prop sword. Any accessory or prop you use should be soft, flexible, and short, in order to avoid injury to the eye.

Signs of Infection

After your celebrations, watch out for these signs of infection:

  • Unexplained eye discomfort or pain
  • Redness of the eye and/or discharge
  • Watering eyes
  • Vision changes

Want to learn more about safe Halloween costume practices or interested in setting up an eye exam to get a prescription for colored contact lenses? Give our office a call or schedule your appointment online. One of our doctors would be more than happy to assist in your fun and safe Halloween!

rx optical blog image sunglasses in the winter 121217 1

Wear Your Sunglasses – Even in the Winter

If there is one thing us Michiganders know, it is how to do winter. When we step out in the winter, we don’t leave home without multiple layers, a scarf, a hat, and waterproof, insulated boots.

But, what many of us are missing is a crucial part of our winter wardrobe; sunglasses. Frigid temps and feisty flurries do not mean your eyes are protected from the sun. If you’re heading out the door and wondering, “Should I grab these super stylish, fantastic sunglasses I got from Rx Optical?” your answer should always be yes. Here are a few reasons why.

More Exposure

In the winter, the sun actually sits lower in the sky and at a different angle than it does in the summer. This means your eyes might be getting more exposure to harsh rays. You’re also getting more exposure the more the snow falls. Snow can reflect up to 85 percent of the sun’s UV Rays which can lead to a troubling condition called, “snow blindness.” This condition primarily affects skiers and those who participate in winter sports but everyone is susceptible without protection and it can damage your cornea for up to a week. Look out skiers, the risk gets higher for every 1,000 feet you go above sea level.

Eye Damage

Sun Blindness isn’t the only condition caused by winter rays. Research has shown that the sun’s UV Rays can contribute to various ailments such as cataracts and macular degeneration. UV light on your eyelids can also lead to skin cancer.

Early Aging

Nobody wants to look older than they are, but if you’re not protecting your eyes, you might be susceptible to premature aging. UV rays can cause wrinkles, fine lines, scaly red patches, and tough, leathery brown spots. The skin around your eyes is extremely delicate and is more prone to damage from the sun than other areas.

Protect Your Eyes

So, add one more item to your winter attire and grab a pair of sunglasses from any Rx Optical location. Our Sun Solutions Program allows our patients to own the very best (and coolest if you care) prescription and non-prescription sunglasses at a great value. Be sure to contact your local Rx Optical for discounts on lens and frame options.

Your sunglasses should block 100% of harmful UV rays and be large enough to completely protect the skin around your eyes.

Want to check out our selection? Stop on in to any location or give us a call with any questions you might have (800) RX-CARES.

Rx Optical Blog Image Womens Eye Health 09.27.18

Important Factors in Women’s Eye Health

Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to have eye-related problems. With two-thirds of blindness and other visual impairments worldwide occurring in women, it is important that women understand their eye health risk factors and schedule routine comprehensive exams.

Because women tend to live longer than men, and have hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives that can negatively impact their eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are more common in women.

It is especially important to monitor eye health as you age, as vision problems become more prominent in aging adults.

Other factors that may cause women to have more eye problems include:

 

Birth Control

Certain birth control and hormone replacement treatments can cause blood clots or strokes, which can lead to vision problems. A woman’s risk for cataracts and dry eye may also increase while taking birth control.

 

Pregnancy

A woman’s body goes through many changes while she is pregnant, including vision changes. Common eye health problems when pregnant include dry eyes, light sensitivity, and eye puffiness, and in some cases, eye prescription changes. Those who suffer from high blood pressure during pregnancy may experience blurry vision, or even a retinal detachment.

 

Menopause

Dry eyes and uveitis (eye inflammation) are very common for women who are undergoing menopause.

 

Breast Cancer

Certain drugs that are taken to treat and prevent breast cancer can increase a woman’s risk for cataracts, eye bleeds, itchy eyes, and light sensitivity.

 

Preventing Future Vision Issues

While certain eye health problems are unavoidable, there are things that can be done in order to prevent future vision issues:

  • Make sure to receive an annual eye exam. Talk with your doctor about certain risk factors that may apply to you and make a plan.
  • Maintain a healthy diet. Make sure you are drinking enough water and avoid high amounts of caffeine. Vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial for eye health.
  • Put down the cigarettes. Smoking drastically increases chances of eye disease.
  • If you are pregnant, discuss any vision changes that you notice with your eye doctor and make regular appointments.

It’s time to take steps to care for and protect your eyes. Make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable eye doctors today. Feel free to call or stop in at one of our 54 locations, we can’t wait to see you!

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RX OPTICAL CELEBRATES WORLD SIGHT DAY

Every year, to support eye health around the world, all of us at Rx Optical participate in World Sight Day.

More than 600 million people around the world are blind or vision impaired because they don’t have access to the eye examination and glasses they need. The organization Optometry Giving Sight funds projects that gave sight and hope to more than 1 million children in 2017 alone. They are passionate about the work they do, and we are excited to support that work. The money raised on World Sight Day supports programs that train local eye care professionals, establish vision centers, and deliver eye care and low-cost glasses.

Leading up to World Sight Day, Rx Optical gathers donations by putting together fun baskets to auction off. We create baskets with themes such as golf, family game night, toolkits, and more. Our employees buy raffle tickets to win those baskets, and the money from the raffle goes toward the World Sight mission. We also purchase World Sight t-shirts and wear them in the office.

We are passionate about promoting good vision health around the world and are especially excited that this year’s campaign will support children’s vision and will help give kids who have struggled to see properly their first pair of glasses.

It’s sad to think that there are millions of children around the world struggling to learn and frustrated with their lives simply because they can’t see and can’t afford proper eye care. The World Sight Day Challenge makes it simple and fun to help these kids. And, even our patients can get involved. You can make a donation to support the World Sight Day mission here. By becoming a donor, you will be helping to transform lives through the gift of vision.

You can learn more about the Optometry Giving Sight organization on their website, and you can see how we are celebrating sight by stopping in to any of our locations!

Rx Optical Blog Social Image Common Eye Care Problems 09.07.18

Vision Problems in Aging Adults

Many parts of your body change as you grow older, and your eyes are no exception. Older adults often have to be aware of, and deal with, a variety of different eye problems that may not be an issue for most children or young adults.

At Rx Optical, we are devoted to ensuring that our patients, of all ages, receive the best vision care. If you are noticing changes in your vision, or think you may have symptoms of an eye disease that needs to be addressed, schedule an eye exam with us right away.

According to a recent survey, half of people in the U.S. are neglecting their eyes, despite 84% of people rating vision as their most important sense. Skipping out on annual eye exams can leave you at risk for serious health issues.

Widespread issue
More than 10 million Americans have undiagnosed eye problems and conditions that can affect their vision and eye health. In addition to these conditions, over 180 million Americans have vision impairment: near-and far-sightedness, or in some cases, both.

Being aware of eye health changes that come with age will be key in ensuring that your vision stays clearer, longer.

Common eye diseases in older adults
Many common eye diseases have no early symptoms and can only be detected through an eye examination. Early detection and treatment is key when it comes to saving your sight. Common causes of vision loss in older adults include age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Everyone over the age of 50 should strongly consider routine comprehensive dilated eye exams, as this will help catch diseases in their early stages.

Warning signs
If you notice you are seeing double, have difficulty reading or working with objects up close, or the way you see colors has changed, it is important to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. If you aren’t experiencing any warning signs, an eye doctor can still assess your eye health and let you know your specific risk factors.

To further assist our patients in understanding potential vision problems, our blog page has resources and information on topics such as trouble with night driving, the effect diabetes can have on your eyes, what an astigmatism is, the dangers of technology’s blue lights to your eyes, and glaucoma.

Next steps in your care
While an eye exam is an important first step in eye health, it is important to think about, and take care of, your eyes on a daily basis. According to The Vision Council, eating healthy foods, ending tobacco use, limiting screen time, and regular exercise are all great steps to achieving healthy eyes.

Our doctors are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to understanding the intricate relationship between eye health and your overall wellbeing. Be proactive about your health and schedule an eye appointment today. Young or old, your vision is a valuable and important part of your everyday life. Don’t wait – schedule an exam online today at one of our 54 locations.

Rx Optical Doing Business In Michigan For Over 70 Years

Vice President of Marketing of Rx Optical, George Jepson is the featured guest on this segment of a Michigan Business Beat. He shares with Jeffrey Mosher some spotlights of another Michigan story.

Founded in 1947 in Kalamazoo, MI Rx Optical is a leading eye-care provider with 53 locations throughout Michigan and parts of Indiana. After 71 years, Rx Optical are opening three more locations in 2018 and ’19 (Holland Central, Saline, and a new Kalamazoo Downtown office).

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Rx Optical Blog Social Image 5 Signs of Eye Injury or Damage 08.29.18

The Signs of Eye Injury or Damage

Our eyes are one of the coolest parts of the body; the design of our eyes, eyelids, and eyelashes are so complex and vital to our health. Did you know, with the blink of an eyelid, a layer of mu-cus, oil, and tears cover the corner to clean out dirt, dust, and other irritants? Your tears stop the spread of infections, too!

Even though they are amazing, eyelids cannot protect our eyes from everything. Eye injuries, or eye damage, occurs from time to time. It’s important that you can recognize when something is not right (and then give us a call).

Signs of Injury or Damage
The American Academy of Ophthalmology has put together an extensive list of injuries and damage that can occur in the eye; here are the most common:

  • One eye is not moving as well as the other
  • One eye is sticking out compared to the other
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • Pupil is an usual size or shape
  • Blood in the clear part of the eye
  • A foreign object is in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swelling

Common Eye Injuries
One of the most common eye injuries is a scratched eye, also known as a corneal abrasion. This is usually caused by a foreign object in the eye like dust or sand. An important identifier in this injury is eye redness and sensitivity to light.

Another common injury can occur when a blow is taken to the eye, causing the eye to swell and puff. We see this injury when sports seasons pick up, usually baseball season. If you have a black eye, the best treatment is ice and a call to Rx Optical. We need to make sure there is no internal damage.

Eye bleeding, or subconjunctival hemorrhages, is an eye injury that looks much worse than the injury itself. This injury can happen when blood leaks from one or more blood vessels in the white of the eye. This can occur even in minor injuries to the eye.

The Don’ts of Eye Injuries

  • DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • DO NOT try to remove an object stuck in the eye
  • DO NOT apply any medication to the eye without a doctor consultation
  • DO NOT rinse with water (for cut or punctured eyes only)

The Do’s of Eye Injuries

  • DO rinse with water (for chemical burns or small debris in the eye)
  • DO call your eye doctor as soon as possible to receive the care your eyes need

We are here for your whole eye care, not just eye exams and prescriptions. Rx Optical can per-form the proper exams to recognize the cause of your injury and provide you with a plan to treat the injury. Noticing anything strange about your eyes? Come and see us, we can help you care for your eye injury.